20 February 2017
The Big Painting Challenge
I’ve just got home from Devizes, a nearby market town, with the ingredients for my latest project – some Annie Sloan chalk paint in Emperor’s Silk. I have an old lacquered pine dresser in France that is just screaming out to be ‘up cycled’. The paint is very bright (fire engine red?) but the plan is to add some dark wax to give it a deeper, antique finish. I’ve never done it before so it may or may not work.
Last night I watched BBC’s Big Painting Challenge presented by Mariella Frostbite and some Reverend guy. I almost wish I hadn’t. Last week the group of amateur artists had some rather uninspiring still life subjects to tackle – a teddy bear and a clarinet. They all stood at their easels and dabbed away with their brushes. The finished works were rather dubious but you could see what it was meant to me. Except for Jennifer. She knelt on the floor and stared at her canvas for about an hour, then splodged some paint on, dragged some hair extensions through it and completely ignored the brief. The judges shook their heads and tut-tutted. Each week one painting is picked by members of the public as their favourite piece and that contestant is then exempt from being sent home. They chose Jennifer’s painting so she didn’t get sent home.
Last night’s episode showed the artists huddled in a bus shelter in the pouring rain trying to produce painted canvasses of Hastings Pier and seafront. Their attempts were not great but the rain didn’t help. Again Jennifer got down on the ground, ignored her mentors and used hair extensions to create pattern. When the wind blew her canvas off the easel she couldn’t decide which way round the painting was supposed to go. She certainly didn’t seem to be worrying about perspective . Once again members of the public were asked to vote for their favourite piece. Guess who? Jennifer!
I hope she manages to last the course. Her work adds a little bit of excitement against some of the predictable ‘nice’ paintings.